I recently remembered a nice proverb in Bengali, which translated means something like:
”If there is too much humbleness, something is wrong”
This saying wants to warn us of people who are extremely humble – they could turn around the next second and walk in the completely opposite direction. Or, they are hiding their true intentions behind their humbleness. Or, they actually want to make up for something that they did wrong! I believe this saying has a lot of truth in it. I guess you can remember such a situation in your childhood, too – when you and your siblings had broken something that you were actually not allowed to play with. You would all of a sudden be all humble and nice until your mother would smell a rat and find out why you are not as naughty as usual.
Another, maybe more serious, point of view on very humble people comes from my experience. I have several times got to know that very humble people were actually very egoistic.
Yes, I know that this seems a contradiction to you but it is not that much when you realize that this extreme humbleness is not real but only a well-played role. People act as though they were humble and in this acting they have a big ego of being the most humble persons of the world. They really think that nobody could be any humbler than they are!
If you would like to have a concrete example, let me give you one. I have observed this fake humbleness with a lot of ISKCON devotees. This sect’s belief tells them to be humble and it is very important for them that they are. So they will, in their humbleness, throw themselves to your feet if they think you are a Hindu guru or priest whom they should respect. They will touch your feet with a fervency that makes you feel uncomfortable because you don’t want to have this position over someone else. They will talk with immense humbleness and will accept each and every of your words about God and the world. Should you however in any way scratch their ego with whatever you say, they will simply lose all humbleness on the very spot. They can freak out, scream at you, insult you. All humbleness is forgotten.
Yes, I have experienced this first-hand and seen it happen with others, too. It makes you wonder about the person and at first you think it may be a psychological problem like schizophrenia. Once you had time to analyze the situation, you understand that the other one had only put up a show of being humble. It was only acting.
Being humble is certainly a virtue. Another saying, this one in Sanskrit, says: ‘Knowledge makes you humble’. Those who really have knowledge or wisdom cannot be egoistic. If you see someone who is too humble to be true, it will most probably be fake humbleness. A show to please you and the person himself, not the reality.